Better quality management using data

A modern organization relies on data and analytics in people management too

Organizations are constantly looking for ways to create competitive advantage and enable business development. While data and digital solutions have already guided many business processes for years, in many organizations their most valuable resource — people and their management — often continues to rely on the experience and intuition of the senior staff instead of data. Although this senior competence is a primary and irreplaceable prerequisite for high-quality management, the role of people data can also be significant in decision-making: when information analysis is combined with high-quality managerial work, an organization creates a context in which its people management practices can create business value, motivate employees, and stand out from their competitors.
Developing a modern style of management in an organization can face many different challenges. According to Gavdi’s Salla Syrjäkari, data analysis can enable the observation of such challenges more effectively and even provide clues for solving them:

“As an example, analytics can be used to identify areas where management work is of high quality, or where development work is reciprocally needed. Based on these observations, it is easier for the organization to react to managerial development needs with various measures and practices.”

These possibilities of analyzing personnel data have already been noticed globally as well as in Finland. The Finnish VR Group’s development journey in data-driven management includes a project implemented with Gavdi, in which an easy-to-understand view of people data was created for the HR and financial teams as well as the organization’s managers. The end result was a modern, cloud-based solution that gathers essential information for management into a shared view. The solution’s ease of use supports decision-making: supervisors can access the information needed to inform their decisions quickly and in an understandable format. The continuous utilization of such information is an essential part of VR’s developing management culture and, by extension, the promotion of employees’ performance and well-being. VR’s Jonas Hagner sees data-driven management as “a necessity for establishing comprehensive situational awareness in a large and diverse organization like VR”. From VR’s point of view, the development of a modern data analysis solution is also seen as preparing for the future; it is easier to react to the increasing ESG requirements, for example, as the required information is already readily available and can be analyzed.

Hagner sees the creation of such solutions as a challenging process where cooperation and expertise are emphasized:

“Openness, honesty and close cooperation enabled the success of the project. People data is one of the most frequently changing data sets in the organization, and thus expertise and the team’s ability to delve into the project is key.”

In the long term, neglecting the continuous development of management and the utilization of information can pose challenges for an organization in terms of workforce commitment: the best talent will find a better working environment. In today’s talent-driven corporate landscape, attracting and retaining key expertise is crucial to an organization’s success, and properly utilized data can have a significant impact on the development of these processes. According to Syrjäkari, “despite their challenges, projects that develop data-driven management can help organizations improve the quality of management and, through this, the safety of the work environment as well as the well-being of employees”.

Are you interested in people analytics? Sign up for Gavdi’s webinar on the topic here: at the event, VR’s Marjut Hyytiäinen and Gavdi’s Jukka Aapro will tell you more about VR’s journey in the development of data-driven management and the new and current trends in people analytics.

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